Security staff can play a role in escalator safety

I refer to the report on the rising incidence of damage to escalators due to errant behaviour by users (Users the main cause of escalator incidents; Dec 21).

The Building and Construction Authority said it encourages escalator operators to put up new posters and stickers on escalator safety. I am very sceptical of the effectiveness of this approach.

Instead, I suggest a two-pronged approach. First, security personnel at MRT stations, concourses and platforms, as well as those at shopping malls should look out for unsafe behaviour by members of the public on the escalators.

If they see parents pushing strollers on the escalators, security personnel should intercept and redirect them to nearby lifts. The same should apply to users of personal mobility devices.

Second, security staff should ensure that parents with strollers are given priority access to lifts when there is a queue.

Users who do not comply with the security staff's instructions should have their particulars recorded and be subsequently referred to the police for further action.

Stickers and posters, although educational, are ineffective as many people are fond of bending the rules in the interest of convenience and ease. Also, during rush hours, users in a hurry would be oblivious to such stickers and posters.

Users who flout escalator safety guidelines need to be mindful that they may ultimately have to bear the cost of repairing the escalators should the fault be attributed to their wrongdoing.

I believe this is by far the most effective way to manage this problem.

Teo Kok Seah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2018, with the headline 'Security staff can play a role in escalator safety'. Print Edition | Subscribe